Fed-up residents and council leaders have called on Tesco to finally start developing its derelict ‘eyesore’ Carlton Road site, amid fears it has become a magnet for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.
Tesco purchased the five-acre site in 2010 but axed its original plans to build a multi-million pound supermarket there after the company came under financial strain last year.
Now up for sale, the site has been lying “dead and dormant” since January of last year- and has become a hotspot for congregating yobs, drug dealing, urinating and even sex acts, it is claimed.
A couple, who live next to the site and its access road but did not wish to be identified, spoke to the Guardian of their “suffering” since Tesco took over the site from Bassetlaw District Council six years ago.
They said: “We have seen drug dealing, people urinating and a couple engaging in oral sex - all from our kitchen window.
“We have lived here since the 1980s and are neighbourly types of people.
“We know what goes on in our area, and it has always been quite bad for crime, that’s true.
“But it has definitely escalated since Tesco took over the site. And what’s ironic is we were really behind the supermarket build when it was announced, as we thought it would be great for Worksop and its residents.
“We have reported the incidents to Tesco, but nothing has been done to help us.
A spokesman for Tesco said that security would be tightened around the site in light of anti-social behaviour claims, and work had already been arranged to tidy any existing rubbish from the land.
He added: “The decision not to build a new store was a difficult one, but we remain keen to bring the site into use.
“We understand the Worksop community wants to see development on the site, and will keep local people updated on our progress.”
Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Tesco has short changed Worksop and decided to just let this site idle.
“We have had no contact from Tesco on their plans and we do not know what efforts they are putting in to its disposal.
“I would welcome an update from Tesco about how they plan to find an appropriate use for the site and I’d like their commitment that they will not allow it to lay dormant.
“We are willing to work with Tesco but I am really disappointed about their lack of engagement to date.
“What I want to see is that site being brought forward by Tesco, to deliver an appropriate use that the people of Worksop can have their say on through a public consultation.”